Nov 14, 2017 06:40 AM EST
Genesis 35:1 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
35:2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.
35:3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone."
35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
35:5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
35:6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan.
35:7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
35:8 Now Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel. So it was named Allon Bacuth.
35:9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him.
35:10 God said to him, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel." So he named him Israel.
35:11 And God said to him, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.
35:12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you."
35:13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.
35:14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it.
35:15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
Bethel means the house of God. It also comes in Genesis 28. The very special place ... In Jacob's life, he met God in Genesis 28, and his life totally changed after that. It was a very important turning point. Now God says Jacob to go back to the place where he met God.
In chapter 28, Jacob dreamt of a ladder and met God. In fact, it was a cold, hungry, lonely place after he received blessing from God and driven out of his house. The reality of those who receive the blessing of God in the Bible is the wilderness. Why? The blessing is never given simply, easily.
How can it come to me? The blessing that others should receive is passed on to me. In other words, those who are to be blessed are ignorant of its preciousness, and it is taken to the one who regards it as worthless. If you try to give something good, you will realize that makes sense. It's a really good thing. You want to give it to a person who can appreciate this value, and be happy to use it.
According to the Bible stories, blessed people are not blessed because of their qualifications, conditions, and circumstances. It is because of their eager desire and will to receive God's blessing. Jacob was eager to be blessed. This is humility. So the blessing came to him and he took it. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is being taken. Does our faith take away blessings? Or is it taken away? Will you sell blessings because of the hunger and substance of the moment? When Esau was deprived of blessing, he cried with sorrow. The genealogies of Esau are recorded in Genesis 36. Esau and Jacob became separated and the brothers walked in different paths.
As we look at the history, we should get wisdom to sell the porridge to buy the birthright. We must serve God alone. We are living in the era of golden universalism and mammonomism. When all our concerns focus on money, and money becomes our king, we lose all our precious things, and then we will live being pressed by money and just die miserably. Later, it is useless to cry after being taken. If we do not love God the most, we cannot go the way of history.
Again, Jacob goes up again to Bethel. In Genesis 28, he goes back to the place where he met the Lord. The day he met God was a new beginning and a new start for Jacob. What dream did God give Jacob there?
28:10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.
28:11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
28:12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
28:13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
28:14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
28:16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."
28:17 He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
28:18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
28:19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
28:21 so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God
28:22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."
A ladder comes out, a large stairway connecting heaven and earth. And the angel went up and down on it. Jacob awakened from this dream and awakened from the spiritual sleep, again he gained new strength. He realized his mission and his position. The stairway is the stairway of salvation. Oh I have a mission to connect heaven and the earth, and the blessings of heaven must come down through me, and the people of this land must go forth into heaven through me.
When we study Jacob, it gives us shocking enlightenment; Jacob lived recognizing that his blessings were not for himself. It is usually easy for the blessed ones to live without taking care for those who are not blessed. Just as the rich man ignored Lazarus who was dying in front of his door, he enjoys himself and that is how we can live normally. But the rich man got judgment later. If you have something given, it is to give you a chance to empty yourself, share, and serve.